Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Saturday morning

My new favorite way to start the weekend is working out in the water. Not a lap swimmer I do have a 45-50 minute routine that is cardio and resistance loaded. I'm in the pool at least 3 times a week and often 4 or 5 times. I've found that sometimes the only time I have in a busy day is after 8 p.m. And this week I began the summer Biggest Loser contest at Coeur d'Alene Peak. 55 lbs in my review mirror after several months but I need a jump start to the home stretch of another 45lbs or so. I'm working it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Swim Season

Since it's not likely that I will now or ever pose for a photo in a swimsuit, I offer a visual that kind of blew me away this week. I love water, always have, and no matter how much my weight increased through the years I still swam in our beautiful lakes and rivers in the summer and at the pool in the off season. For the past two years I wore the orange and yellow suit (sz 22). This winter it started hanging so loose it became a little riske`. I replaced it with a tank suit for water aeobics the first of the year in a size 16. The green suit shown is my newest swimwear ... a pretty Catalina, incredibly a size 12/14! I've been keeping my old suits just for comparison.
What is amazing to me to look at these two suits is how much longer the orange one looks. But it had to fit around my butt, belly and bust and it fit snuggly just a year ago. When I tried on the new green, smaller one I expected to feel like a stuffed sausage. But it actually fit comfortably and I have no doubt it will be hanging loose before the end of summer.
Everybody in the pool! :)


On May 1, my sister and I achieved what we never thought possible ... we walked 7.46 miles with our youngest sister Ronna, my three daughters, Alyssa, Melani and Sarah, Janna's youngest son, Derek and Ronna's youngest daughter, Emily, and over 50,000 others in Bloomsday. I stared that Doomsday Hill buzzard right in the eye and continued on. It wasn't easy but it was worth it.
I felt so empowered to cross that finish line, the real one and the one in my mind that had serious doubts that I could do it.
A photo album of the milestone day is HERE.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Turning Point

Exactly one year ago today I was photographed for a public service ad for a wonderful local organization. This image, with the background knocked out, appeared in the quarter page newspaper ad that ran multiple times. It wasn't vanity that made me cringe each time it was published, it was astonishment that I'd become so obese and unhappy. So when a few weeks later my sister Janna saw that The Biggest Loser was holding a casting call in Portland, I was ready to make the trip with her.
We didn't make that BL cast, although in Sept. we were on the short list before being cut. It was then that Dr. Pennings and Dr. Neal offered hope in the form of the Optifit program and the rest is history.

Janna and I are well on our way to being half the women we were a year ago. But I keep a copy of this newspaper ad in full view in my office. Never again will I put my health and fitness on the backburner, at the bottom of my priority list.
Much has changed in a year, far beyond the 48 pounds lost. I've rediscovered the real me, the happy me. And I'll continue the journey, one day, one pound at a time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Retail Therapy ... in reverse

I revisited my closets in search of something to wear that wasn't either too baggy or too tight or too out of date. The selection was pretty minimal. I have no intention of replacing my wardrobe while I'm halfway to where I intend to be weightwise for the rest of my life. So I decided to have a sale of some of my queen-size special occassion and career wear. Off I went with racks full of clothing to the Greyhound Park's Indoor Garage Sale. It was cathartic to be ruthless as well as realistic in parting with favorite and familiar things. For the next few months I'll continue to wear and rewear the things that are still workable but look forward to the day soon to come when I'll happily shop in the regular size apparel department to fill the gaps in my incredible shrinking closet.

Plateau Be Gone

For the past few weeks I've kept my eye on the goal and my rear end in the gym and the pool. But the numbers on the scale are in suspended animation. Thankfully, the number is the lowest in years for me, instead of at my highest but I'm impatient to see numbers drop about 2lbs a week as they have since last fall. From I found the solution. I need to kick it up a notch (or five or six) in physical activity, build more of a relationship with my treadmill, I'm thinking. Here's more Mayo tips:

If you're at a plateau, you may have lost all of the weight you will given the number of calories you're eating each day and the time you spend exercising. At this point, you need to ask yourself if you're satisfied with your current weight or if you want to lose more, in which case you'll need to adjust your weight-loss program. If you're committed to losing more weight, try these tips for getting past the plateau:
  • Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise.
  • Cut more calories. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories — provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from feeling hungry all of the time, which increases your risk of overeating.
  • Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You might also try increasing the intensity of your exercise, if you feel that's possible. Additional exercise will cause you to burn more calories.
  • Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sweet tempations ...

February has already brought a couple of lifestyle lessons. Early in the month I traveled on business for a few days. Being out of the routine of working out and swimming was hard, although I did get some walking in between hotels in Boise. Conference food wasn't difficult to avoid but any time you're needing to depend upon restaurants for meals is a challenge. Felt good to make the right choices, even out of my regular routine.
Then along came chocolate. Lots of chocolate. I accepted a request to judge the Coeur d'Alene Downtown Association's Chocolate Fair. Comes with the territory of being a local "celeb," certainly not the level of having autograph seekers or papparazi, but of being a known face and name through a newspaper column and morning radio show. I prepared myself to simply taste, not eat, an assortment of chocolate confections, and my OptiFit trainer Cate and I talked about how many potential fat calories I might consume. I ate smart on Friday morning and afternoon so by the time I arrived to begin judging at 4:30 p.m. I wasn't hungry. Walking to the different judging locations in downtown added up to several blocks in motion. Tasting approximately two dozen sweet treats took a toll, though. By the end of my judging duties I was a bit nauseous, not for lack of the quality of the entries but because I no longer consume much sugar or fat. Realistically it was maybe 300-400 calories but I'm glad I did it. It's real life, part of my real life, and it was a valuable reminder that I like the way I feel and look now far more than I like chocolate. :)
*if you click on the Downtown Association link there are photos of the event, including a photo of my "leftovers," the sampled but uneaten treats. I carried a ziplock baggie in my pocket and after sampling I put the remainder in the bag. My husband enjoyed his own sweet treat sampling when I got home. :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

A thousand words ...

Janna and I heading out to the
Biggest Loser casting call in
Portland, late March 2010.
Here we are on January 30, 2011 ...

Sometimes the tale of the scale and the measuring tape doesn't give our mind's eye the true story. As Janna and I approach the 50lbs gone mark, it helps to prepare for the hard work it will take to reach the goal by looking back to see how far we've come.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


In a moment of sisterly solidarity I agreed to join Janna in the 35th running of Bloomsday on the first Sunday in May. Me! The woman who has spent the first Saturday in May for decades enjoying the Run for the Roses, aka the Kentucky Derby, where the thoroughbreds do the running on four legs. In 2011, Janna and I will join friends we've made in the OptiFit program on the famous 7.46 mile Bloomsday course, which includes the ominous Doomsday Hill and over 50,000 participants. From 9 a.m. start to the course closing just 4.5 hours later calls for walking about 2 miles per hour. Yikes. It's a realistic goal for nearly three months hence. What's funny is to be aware of the voices in my ear. On one shoulder the out-of-shape, overweight Kerri with four coronary arterial stents, who carries nitroglycerin tablets at all times is saying, "YOU CANNOT DO THIS!" Today I'm vowing to start giving the positive, can-do Kerri a bigger voice in my ear.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I have a large wardrobe of sparkly evening wear that came in handy to emcee gala events like the Festival of Trees Senior Social and for the years I judged state pageants in the USA system. I've been to the Miss America Pageant and the Miss USA Pageant a number of times. Hobbing with the nobs like Donald Trump. So this week is the Post Falls Chamber Banquet and while I've passed the emcee torch this year, I will be on stage during the presentations of the big awards. Less than a month ago I pulled this beautiful beaded gown from the back of the closet and tried it on. When last worn in 2004 (pictured) I was stuffed like a sausage into the beaded bodice. So I was tickled that upon trying it on in early January, it draped and flowed like it should. I picked it up from the cleaners today and tried it on again. Oh my. It hung loose on the top and is definately way too baggy to wear again. I went into the closet in the Museum of Formal Wear, where hangers hold not only my sparkly tops and gowns but those that are collected through the years when one has three daughters.
I tried on jackets, gowns, and sequined sweaters until a large pile of beautiful things was there on my bed. All far too big to be worn. Bittersweet to find myself 24 hours from an event with nothing to wear. But alas, there was one champagne-colored crushed velvet long dress that I'm not sure I ever wore that will work. (It did work!-pictured on right) I can assure you that by the time the next gala event comes along, I will have found my former formal wear new homes via Ebay or Craig's List and replenished the closet with pretty and petite sparkly attire.

Monday, January 24, 2011

All Wet

An important component to revising my life is to add regular physical activity, ie: exercise. Exercise is a word right up there with diet that sounds like punishment to me. So several weeks ago I went back to the pool. For me swimming is a treat, I love pools, lakes, rivers ... anywhere I can get wet. Bonus points if the sun is shining and I'm outdoors, but this is January and I live in North Idaho so the pool at McGrane Center at KMC is a great alternative. I buy a 12-visit punchcard and spend an hour two or three times a week putting myself through the paces, jogging in waist-deep water 100 times from one side of the pool to the other. The styrofoam dumb bells add resistance to working my arms under water. I stretch and kick and thoroughly enjoy myself the entire time. Today was cause to chuckle ... the swimsuit that I filled out to stretched seams last summer is now hanging loose and baggy. Good thing there were few people in the pool with me since the five inches I've lost off my bustline made exercising a little precarious. Bye bye swimsuit, time to dig a bit deeper in the closet for one that's a few sizes smaller.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Weight

When your youngest child is 34 years old, it's impossible to blame excess weight on pregnancy gain. In fact, I never gained more than 30 lbs during any of my three pregnancies. This is a photo of me ten days after giving birth to my youngest daughter in 1976. Even as a new and nursing mother my weight was back to a normal range. How I came to be considered morbidly obese took years and adding several pounds a year in the last decade or so.
Today I'm within two pounds of being at my lowest weight in quite a few years but still only halfway to my goal. My journey will be lifelong. Baby steps.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


In this numbers game that has become my life since last fall, most numbers have been related to the scale. I had the story of the shoe size a few weeks back but the latest measurements were cause for another chuckle. Since October I've lost two inches off my neck circumference. Hard to notice that my winter scarves are getting loose. :) But the other numbers were fun to know as well ... down four inches on my waist and three on my hips. Nice. My favorite shrinkage area might be one that most would find alarming but I'm finding to be most noticable. I've lost 5 inches from my bust line. Woo Hoo! A new and much smaller bra has been added to my wardrobe. The difference between matronly and downright perky is in the inches.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One step at a time

Perfect timing for an aquaintance to share her inspirational story of losing 147 pounds over the past year. I've spent the past three months getting my relationship with food in perspective, thanks to Optifit. Now the key to making it the rest of the way is to MOVE, to get this old body of mine in motion. Wanda Brust's experience is testiment to the incredible results that come from doing just that.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Power of Words

I received a great gift in my in-box right before New Years. Jessica DeHaan, owner of Express Employment Professionals and a fellow Chamber member, took a minute to compose an email which lifted my resolve.
"YOU LOOK FABULOUS Kerri!!! When I saw you at the Chamber luncheon last week, my goodness- YOU GO GIRL! I’m sorry it has taken me a week to send you a message. Congratulations!"
 The power of simple words, spoken or written sincerely, is incredible. I intend to make it a point to do the same with the friends and associates in my life this year.